House Calls by Abbie Zanders
Maggie Flynn has always been a good girl. She leads a simple life and believes in helping others. Under normal circumstances, she would never even consider performing the dance of the seven veils at a bachelor party. But when her best friend begs for help and waves the promise of much-needed cash in her face, Maggie reluctantly agrees to step outside her comfort zone and relax her lofty standards a little.
Most doctors don't make house calls anymore, including Michael Callaghan. But he's willing to make an exception when the pretty redhead with the jewel-like green eyes takes a header off the stage at his brother's bachelor party. Something about her piques his masculine interest, and it's not just her dancing.
Lightning hits the Callaghan clan a third time when Michael and Maggie find themselves snowbound during a classic nor'easter, but their bond is soon tested when Michael is forced to choose between following his finely-honed instincts and respecting Maggie's wishes.
It's a hell of a choice. Either way, he could lose her forever.
I have been having the best luck with new-to-me authors lately! Abbie Zanders has created quite the sexy clan with the Callaghan brothers. The saying "the best things in life are free" definitely applies to my free download of House Calls book 3 in the Callaghan Brothers series from Amazon. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end.
Maggie is a sweet, hard-working woman whose self esteem took a huge hit when she discovered the man she was going to marry giving his secretary "special" attention and then having him tell her he wasn't marrying Maggie because he loved her but because his company needed her land. Maggie's house sits on a couple hundred acres of prime property that she uses to grow orchards for school field trips, local donations to food pantries, and to make the homeopathic remedies that her grandmother passed down to her.
Maggie's lack of faith in her womanly assets almost causes her to turn down her friend who needs someone to dance with her at a bachelor party but the lure of $500 plus tips talks her into it. After drinking some liquid courage, Maggie finds herself on stage dancing and letting all of her inhibitions go--in the midst of the music and movement, Maggie finds that she has truly missed living in the moment and being spontaneous. Unfortunately, soon after she finishes, she missteps off the stage and hits her head on some bar tables that had been moved for storage. This allows the sexy bartender who hasn't been able to keep his eyes off of her a chance to step in and play white night.
Michael is fascinated by the beautiful green-eyed dancer and is horrified to witness her accident. He immediately calls upon his medical training to try to ease Maggie's pain. When Maggie refuses to go to the hospital, Michael drives her home and stays with her to ensure she is okay. This starts a beautiful meeting of two people who just click. Michael has seen two of his brothers be struck by lightning when their future wives walked into their lives and realizes pretty early on that Maggie is the one for him. Maggie also falls for Michael hard and fast, but due to past experiences doesn't believe that he could reciprocate her feelings for the long term. The most she believes she can hope for is a short term affair.
Michael works hard to prove his trustworthiness to Maggie and just when things are smoothing out a medical emergency puts everything at risk. Maggie has a major aversion to hospitals and Michael has taken an oath to do no harm and with his added feelings for Maggie, his ability to respect her wishes is put to the ultimate test. Further stresses soon follow including secrets, the dastardly plans of an ex, and more. Just when things would settle down, something else would pop up leaving our protagonists and the reader wondering just how much more they could take. Michael was absolutely rock solid throughout; Maggie had a tendency to withdraw and plain old run away (metaphorically speaking) but her reasons were always understandable. I might not have liked her choices all of the time but I always appreciated where she was coming from and why that particular choice made sense to her at the time.
Overall, this couple worked really hard for their happy every after, aided and abetted by characters from previous and later books in the Callaghan series. I usually am a huge stickler for reading a series in order, but when I looked up the first couple of books, I saw a note from the author assuring that each book could be read as a stand alone with the caveat that events from previous books might be alluded to. I took Abbie Zanders at her word and am happy to report that everything was as she said it would be. I was also pleased that events from previous books were presented clearly enough in this book for me to get the gist of what had happened but still left enough mystery and intrigue to make me want to read those books to get all the details of what really happened. I will be reading more in this series and keeping an eye on what else this author is working on. Abbie Zanders can add my name to her list of fans!
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